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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Been wearing the G Watch since it arrived on the 7th. Like some things, don't like others, but this may be a deal breaker --
    Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea-2014-07-14-13.32.17.jpg
    Exactly matches where the contacts touch my wrist. (This is a photo from this morning... it looked a little nastier last night.) The top and middle contacts were so corroded that the watch wouldn't charge in its cradle until I scraped some of the corrosion off (you can see that there's still some on those contacts):
    Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea-2014-07-14-13.33.11.jpg
    Went on a two-hour hike yesterday but the watch was never immersed and it wasn't that hot a day here in Chicago -- regular 85, not really humid, just a normal summer day. Anyone else seeing this sort of thing?
    oscari likes this.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Those contacts concerned me, so I got a band that goes through the pins and behind the watch. You have to loosen to charge, but it takes all of 2 seconds. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006R2N3FE...0-20&m1k=vb_ac
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Something looks really wrong there (duhh, I suppose). What I mean is, why has no one else reported the same problem? I don't have a smartwatch but I do use a Suunto Ambit 2 which charges in a similar manner, through exposed contacts; it's my exercise watch and I often sweat like a pig when using it. No corrosion, no zapped skin... Surely in such a device there is some circuitry that prevents the watch discharging via the contacts? I wonder if yours is faulty in this respect, editorkid?
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    You should contact LG and possibly Google. I'm sure they'd like to hear about this.
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  5. #5  
    kbot1226's Avatar

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    Looks like a possible allergic reaction. Nickel allergies have been in the news lately because of the popularity of the iPad. Your body's reaction can cause the corrosion on the charging pins.

    Posted via Android Central App
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    JimSmith94's Avatar

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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by kbot1226 View Post
    Looks like a possible allergic reaction. Iron allergies have been in the news lately because of the popularity of the iPad. Your body's reaction can cause the corrosion on the charging pins.

    Posted via Android Central App
    It's nickel allergies that are in the news for the iPad, not iron.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    I'm not trying to take a "blame the customer" approach here, so please don't take it that way.

    Is it possible that you got some other kind of injury there, and bleeding on the contacts caused them to corrode? I only ask because the scab is limited to one spot. Maybe a mosquito bite that you scratched or something like that?
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    I've had exactly the same issue. Tested by moving the watch to the other wrist and it happened there too. An allergic reaction I think.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by iborguk View Post
    I've had exactly the same issue. Tested by moving the watch to the other wrist and it happened there too. An allergic reaction I think.
    Looks like the gold contacts for me too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea-20140721_190046.jpg   Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea-20140721_192439.jpg  
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

  11. #11  
    JimSmith94's Avatar

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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by iborguk View Post
    Looks like the gold contacts for me too.
    I'm pretty sure they're copper plated, not gold.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by JimSmith94 View Post
    I'm pretty sure they're copper plated, not gold.
    Actually I will bet a mixture of copper and nickel. It will be the nickel I am allergic too.
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by iborguk View Post
    Actually I will bet a mixture of copper and nickel. It will be the nickel I am allergic too.
    That makes sense, and you're probably right.
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by flychinook View Post
    I'm not trying to take a "blame the customer" approach here, so please don't take it that way.

    Is it possible that you got some other kind of injury there, and bleeding on the contacts caused them to corrode? I only ask because the scab is limited to one spot. Maybe a mosquito bite that you scratched or something like that?
    Sorry for the delay, and no offense taken; it's a question worth asking. Although mosquitoes do love me, there hadn't been any bites on my arm for a while. Pragmatically, the watch is on when I'm out, so a bite would have had to come from something that could have gotten between the watch and my skin. (Which doesn't rule out a small spider or bug -- but that's a fierce coincidence, and I'd expect something of the sort to take a path of lesser resistance.)

    Regarding allergies, I don't wear much other jewelry, but I'd worn the watch for just under a week without issue; it was only the warm, sweaty day that provoked this. I've been assuming a drop or two of sweat caused a short or some anodization.

    Since the original post, I've been able to wear and charge the watch without issue until another hike two days ago, with similar corrosion but no bleeding. This time the corrosion was significant enough, though, that even after cleaning the terminals, charging has been erratic -- the watch was actually discharging in the charger.

    Thanks for the other comments and suggestions. I think I'm one of the few who like the silicone band (I liked the Pebble's too), but maybe there's a quick hack to protect the pins. And I see that LG's on Twitter at @LGUS, so I'll tweet the URL of this thread and see if they can respond via either channel. In the meantime, iborguk, if you hear anything back from LG UK, please do report. Thanks again!
  15. #15  
    JimSmith94's Avatar

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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    I'm seeing posts about a lot of people getting that corrosion on the charging pins of their G watch. In your case, I suspect that sweat corroded the pins, and also closed the circuit, causing electrical burns on your wrist. Maybe it's not an allergic reaction at all.
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by editorkid View Post
    Sorry for the delay, and no offense taken; it's a question worth asking. Although mosquitoes do love me, there hadn't been any bites on my arm for a while. Pragmatically, the watch is on when I'm out, so a bite would have had to come from something that could have gotten between the watch and my skin. (Which doesn't rule out a small spider or bug -- but that's a fierce coincidence, and I'd expect something of the sort to take a path of lesser resistance.)

    Regarding allergies, I don't wear much other jewelry, but I'd worn the watch for just under a week without issue; it was only the warm, sweaty day that provoked this. I've been assuming a drop or two of sweat caused a short or some anodization.

    Since the original post, I've been able to wear and charge the watch without issue until another hike two days ago, with similar corrosion but no bleeding. This time the corrosion was significant enough, though, that even after cleaning the terminals, charging has been erratic -- the watch was actually discharging in the charger.

    Thanks for the other comments and suggestions. I think I'm one of the few who like the silicone band (I liked the Pebble's too), but maybe there's a quick hack to protect the pins. And I see that LG's on Twitter at @LGUS, so I'll tweet the URL of this thread and see if they can respond via either channel. In the meantime, iborguk, if you hear anything back from LG UK, please do report. Thanks again!
    I'd say we've suffered the same issue. LG have made initial contact with me. I've requested a replacement watch and will use a strap which covers the back. I'll report back on what happens.
  17. #17  
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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by JimSmith94 View Post
    I'm seeing posts about a lot of people getting that corrosion on the charging pins of their G watch. In your case, I suspect that sweat corroded the pins, and also closed the circuit, causing electrical burns on your wrist. Maybe it's not an allergic reaction at all.
    While this is a reasonable theory, the water resistance of the device would seem to refute the closing the circuit possibility. The watch can be completely submerged without issue.

    Posted via Android Central App
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by iborguk View Post
    ..and will use a strap which covers the back.
    Not a bad idea at all. Fabric NATO straps come in a range of colours/patterns and are supremely comfortable, especially when "broken in" after a few days of wear. I have one on my Sea Dweller (same pattern James Bond wore in Goldfinger) and it is terrific in summer.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    I too have been seeing some problems with my G Watch, they appear to be related to the connector pins.

    About a week ago I noticed that the watch had a tendency to restart when placed on or removed from the charging dock. I put the watch under magnification at work and saw that the contacts are either partially corroded or, in the case of two, pitted as well.

    I have cleaned things up with some gentle cleaning and it seems to charge again and not restart. However my investigation has revealed some concerns beyond the fact that I don't expect a £160 device to do this within a couple of weeks of me receiving it.

    I checked the iFixit teardown, from which I determined that of the 5 contacts, the one nearest the reset button is the ground contact. Checking the next 2 contacts with a Fluke multimeter, they both have 1.8V present during normal use, I didn't attempt to work out how much current they could sink or source but given that they could be immersed in ionised water or sweat (much the same thing actually) there is the opportunity for current to flow.

    I checked the charging dock and found that the 5th pin has the 5V from the charger on it. I think it would be sensible to position the pogo pins on the dock at slightly different heights, that way you can control which pins contact first and ensure that the supply voltage is present before any data connection and also use this to enable the data pins so that they don't need to have a bias voltage applied during normal operation. I find the charging dock quite good but the magnetic aspect means that the watch will drag itself on to the dock even when not properly aligned, this might allow the pogo pins to short 2 adjacent contacts or even contact the wrong pins if offset by 1 contact in either direction. Again I think that the dock should be designed to align the body before any of the pogo pins contact the back of the watch.

    Yes, it's a first generation product but this sort of thing is not difficult to get right and will have been known about ever since wearable devices with external contacts existed.

    I am intending to get in contact with LG UK, I really like the watch, it works beautifully with my Nexus 5 but this sort of issue is not good.

    One further thing, the contacts and pins should be hard gold flashed, gold being very inert. Now that 2 of the contacts on my watch are pitted and you can see the base metal through the plating (which looks gold in fact) this means the opportunity for the 1.8V bias voltage to create electrolytic action via skin/sweat is increased.

    Comments folks?
  20. #20  
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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by jschu22 View Post
    While this is a reasonable theory, the water resistance of the device would seem to refute the closing the circuit possibility. The watch can be completely submerged without issue.

    Posted via Android Central App
    True for regular water, however sweat is very salty and thus a very good conductor of electricity.
  21. #21  
    jschu22's Avatar

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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Is water alone not good enough of a conductor to basically eliminate closing the circuit as the culprit?
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    OK LG said not our problem. You are allergic.
    They stated that the metals in use are copper and stainless steel, no heavy metals which should cause an allergy. I said could it be a voltage discharge then and they said no.
    Basically it was go away.
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by jschu22 View Post
    Is water alone not good enough of a conductor to basically eliminate closing the circuit as the culprit?
    Correct, pure water doesn't conduct electricity. It needs something with active ions like salt to conduct.
  24. #24  
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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by JimSmith94 View Post
    Correct, pure water doesn't conduct electricity. It needs something with active ions like salt to conduct.
    I wasn't exactly talking about pure water when I posted that and I'm pretty confident that the watch's IP67 rating does not only apply to distilled water.
  25. #25  
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    Default Re: Those exposed contacts? Not a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by jschu22 View Post
    I wasn't exactly talking about pure water when I posted that and I'm pretty confident that the watch's IP67 rating does not only apply to distilled water.
    You're right, of course it doesn't only apply to pure water but I'm sure it assumes a minimum resistance level. I doubt it would survive being submerged in mercury for example.
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